It's 1961 and the folk craze has hit Greenwich Village. Everybody is trying to put true hard feelings into their songs and make them into almost a spiritual experience. Well one songwriter is Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) an ex-Merchant Marine. He's trying to break into the business as many others are doing the same. The money is there but it is not much. Davis sleeps on borrowed couches and doesn't have a place of his own. He also seems to have a mouth and sometimes it gets him into trouble. In the beginning of the film someones husband took offense to Davis and waited for him outside. When he got there he got the crap beaten out of him.
He crashes one night on Mitch and Lillian Gorfein's (Ethan Phillips and Robin Bartlett) couch and the next morning he accidentally let's out the cat. He tries to take it over to Jean and Jim's (Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake) place as he has some places to go. Later that night the cat gets out and he tries to find the darn thing.
OK look this is a week in the life of this guy and man does he have problems. Davis is pretty good at singing and was once hooked up with a partner and they were pretty good. The other guy committed suicide so there was no more partner. He takes a quick trip to Chicago in hopes of meeting someone but that doesn't go well. On the way he is traveling with Roland Turner (John Goodman) a lounge singer at best and the guy is a heroin addict. At every stop Roland goes to the can and has to be helped out because he is so strung out.
Davis's luck is so bad he tries to get back on a ship and make some money but because he doesn't pay his dues he has to come up with some money. He pays on his dues but the ship he was promised gets taken away.
This is a movie that you really need to keep up with. This guy sleeps on a different couch every night and there is always something going wrong. Directors Ethan and Joel Coen have given us a week in the life of a schmuck. He makes the wrongs choices and gets taken at every turn by all around him. What's funny is you want to watch it to the end and when you see the ending you sit back in your chair and just laugh. Enjoy.